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Drawing upon recent interests in Michel Foucault’s anti-essentialist conception of the state, I provide an analysis of state power in colonial slave societies that is…
Drawing upon recent interests in Michel Foucault’s anti-essentialist conception of the state, I provide an analysis of state power in colonial slave societies that is attentive to the ongoing processes of “statification” and governmentalization of the state. This approach represents an alternative to classic state theory, which seems inadequate to describe the diverse political context of Caribbean colonial slave societies.
I apply the Foucauldian conception of the state to the empirical case of the Danish West Indies in the second half of the 18th century. Here, I focus on the problem of public order and its formation in relation to growing concerns over general economic, social, demographic, and political risks that the institution of slavery posed to colonial society. I argue that the slave laws of the 18th century can be seen as a governmental strategy to manage the risks of slavery by constituting a public order that would be subject to policing by the state. I also argue, however, that the specific circumstances of colonial slavery shaped the regulative practices toward the necessities of a flexible, adjustable, responsive government. I suggest that this should be interpreted as a governmental strategy calibrated to the realities of the specificities of colonial rule, rather than simply a reflection of incoherence and incompetence on the part of colonial authorities. The larger argument is that actual state practices have to be seen as results of problems of government in a given context, and as a function of the dynamic and reciprocal processes of government.
This chapter discusses the sociohistories that shape the current existential realities for HBCU education in the Caribbean, particularly the University of the Virgin…
This chapter discusses the sociohistories that shape the current existential realities for HBCU education in the Caribbean, particularly the University of the Virgin Islands. The distinction, Anglophone Caribbean (also commonly referred to as the British West Indies), is a way of naming the intentional displacement and conquering of the indigenous people of the islands. Following a theorization of colonization, the chapter discusses the politics of higher education in the Anglophone Caribbean that influence the existence of the only HBCU outside the continental US, The University of the Virgin Islands. This context is essential to understanding the university’s founding and modern existence.
When the 13 colonies in North America, the slave colony of Saint-Domingue, and the colonial territories of the Portuguese and Spanish Americas all rose against their…
When the 13 colonies in North America, the slave colony of Saint-Domingue, and the colonial territories of the Portuguese and Spanish Americas all rose against their imperial rulers, a new postcolonial order seemingly emerged in the Western Hemisphere. The reality of this situation forced political theorists and practitioners of the early 19th century to rethink the way in which they envisioned the nature and dynamics of international order. But a careful analysis of this shift reveals that it was not the radical break with prior notions of sovereignty and territoriality, often described in the literature. This was not the emergence of a new postimperial system of independent, nationally anchored states. Rather, it reflected a creative rethinking of existing notions of divided sovereignty and composite polities, rife with political experiments – from the formation of a new multi-centered empire in North America to the quasi-states and federations of Latin America. This moment of political experimentation and postcolonial order-making presented a distinctly new world repertoire of empire and state-building, parts of which were at least as violent and authoritarian as those of the old world empires it had replaced. The most radical ideas of freedom and liberty, championed by the black republic of Haiti, remained marginalized and sidelined by more conservative powers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Some time ago, a writer in these columns entered a plea for a series of reprints of notable books which had been allowed to drop entirely out of print, and certain lists of such works were printed. So far nothing seems to have come of this useful suggestion, and no publisher has had the enterprise to experiment with a few issues on the lines laid down. Instead, every British publisher is engaged in the old, old game of reprinting edition after edition of the same old classics, and venturing no further than the limits of this or that hundred “best books.” The result is that we find publishers tumbling over each other in their eagerness to produce editions of the same hackneyed classics, each slightly different from its fellow in some trifle of price, shape, size, binding or editorial annotation. The book‐shops are filled with these rival reprints, and gradually, because of a craze for over‐daintiness, their stocks are beginning to look more and more like those of the stationers who deal largely in pocket‐books and diaries. Dainty little editions of Shakespeare, Scott, Dickens, Bunyan, and similar chestnuts, abound in every variety of limp leather and gilt‐edged prettiness, and all of them are warranted to survive about half‐a‐dozen readings before their dainty beauty fades, and they are ready for the waste‐paper basket. The leading idea of most of the publishers of these delicate editions seems to be that books are no longer intended to be kept on shelves, but should be carried about like watches or toothpicks. Waistcoat‐pocket dictionaries, fountain‐pen‐pocket editions of “Don Quixote,” and breeches‐pocket editions of the London Directory are all the rage, and people are urged to buy this or that dainty classic with binding designed by Blank, R.A., not because it is a good serviceable edition of a great literary classic, but because it forms such a pretty ornament for the pocket. The sixpenny reprint has been done to death, and now the shilling and two‐shilling net edition of the book possessed by everybody is beginning to go the same way. The literature of England is one of its chief treasures, and we are never weary of boasting of its power, extent, and variety. And our leading publishers, to prove the truth of the boast, keep on multiplying the same limited selection of books in the same way, while hundreds, equally good, are neglected. It never seems to occur to the diligent publishers who issue their trumpery little editions of Shakespeare, printed on thin paper, bound in limp leather, and edited to death by some learned scholar, whose notes smother the original text, that the masterpieces of some other author would come as an absolute novelty, and be hailed as a relief from the never‐ending stock classic. Public Libraries and students of literature are compelled to buy at a great comparative cost such of the older, out‐of‐print hooks as they may desire to possess, while in many cases they are unable to Vol. IV. No. 44, February, 1902.
THE Report of the Committee on Libraries, which was issued by the University Grants Committee in the summer of 1967, had for long been called the Parry Report after its Chairman, Dr. Thomas Parry, formerly Librarian of the National Library of Wales and at the time the Principal of University College of Wales in Aberystwyth. When it was first set up in June 1963 the terms of reference were as follows:
The main theme of this special volume is the colonial state and its governmental practices. This chapter introduces and contextualizes the contributions by providing a…
The main theme of this special volume is the colonial state and its governmental practices. This chapter introduces and contextualizes the contributions by providing a brief induction to recent developments within the study of the colonial state. It then presents the contributions under three perspectives which represent separate yet interrelated themes relevant for the understanding of the colonial state: practices, violence, and agency. Hereby, we also accentuate the value of a non-state-centric approach to the analysis of the colonial state.
The aim of this chapter is to argue that charisma is a collective representation, and that charismatic authority is a social status that derives more from the…
The aim of this chapter is to argue that charisma is a collective representation, and that charismatic authority is a social status that derives more from the “recognition” of the followers than from the “magnetism” of the leaders. I contend further that a close reading of Max Weber shows that he, too, saw charisma in this light.
I develop my argument by a close reading of many of the most relevant texts on the subject. This includes not only the renowned texts on this subject by Max Weber, but also many books and articles that interpret or criticize Weber’s views.
I pay exceptionally close attention to key arguments and texts, several of which have been overlooked in the past.
Writers for whom charisma is personal magnetism tend to assume that charismatic rule is natural and that the full realization of democratic norms is unlikely. Authority, in this view, emanates from rulers unbound by popular constraint. I argue that, in fact, authority draws both its mandate and its energy from the public, and that rulers depend on the loyalty of their subjects, which is never assured. So charismatic claimants are dependent on popular choice, not vice versa.
I advocate a “culturalist” interpretation of Weber, which runs counter to the dominant “personalist” account. Conventional interpreters, under the sway of theology or mass psychology, misread Weber as a romantic, for whom charisma is primal and undemocratic rule is destiny. This essay offers a counter-reading.